Food & Drink

12 PDX Restaurants Worth Waiting in Line for

Published On 02/19/2015 Published On 02/19/2015
David L. Reamer
Cheryl Juetten
Mi Mero Mole
David L. Reamer
David L. Reamer
Kari Young
Chris Ryan
Apizza Scholls
Multnomah Whiskey Library
Flickr/George Kelly
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1. Pine State Biscuits 2204 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Pine State Biscuits uses ingredients taken straight from the farm to make biscuit creations that'll satisfy every comfort food craving.

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2. Saburo's Sushi House 1667 SE Bybee Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

If you want to be part of the first seating at this intimate sushi spot you can’t be afraid to be a door buster, because raw-fish-lovers are often lined up an hour before opening (even in the pouring rain).

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3. Sweedeedee 5202 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR 97217

Saturdays and Sundays bring long wait times for the exceptional home-style brunch at this bright and cozy counter-serve cafe, stocked with mason jars of pickles and display cases of pies, but no one will complain when hearty corn cakes, fresh-baked rye, a massive breakfast burrito, and a slice of heavenly honey pie arrive table-side. That last one is a piece of sticky-sweet bliss on a flaky crust that's absolutely mandatory when you visit this adorable spot, which is homey enough to be your grandmother's house.

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4. Mi Mero Mole 32 NW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

A tribute to the street food of Mexico, Mi Mero Mole by Nick Zukin (of Kenny & Zuke's) has upped the Chinatown taco game... and just about everyone has noticed. Guisados are what the place is about, a Mexican City concept translating to "a stew, stir-fry, or filling," and you can select the kind you want from a chalkboard on the orange wall. Count on a meat, seafood, vegetarian, and vegan option that can be poured into corn tortilla tacos, served as a plate with rice and beans, rolled into a burrito, or grilled into a quesadilla. Boundaries are pushed with adventerous meat options like tongue, rabbit, and blood sausage, which are always better with a margarita from the fast-casual dining room's bar.

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5. Pok Pok 3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

James Beard Award-winner Andy Ricker's Pok Pok -- the first of a few outposts around the country -- is known for its menu of authentic Thai food. The kitchen hones in on relatively unknown dishes from the North and Northeast of Thailand (don't expect pad Thai here), but a wide range of Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients are represented. Among the roster of family-style noodle dishes, salads, and smoky meats, the chicken wings are a standout. Based on recipe from a Vietnamese street vendor, the wings are marinated in fish sauce and sugar before they're fried and tossed in garlic, resulting in a caramelized finish and a whole lot of flavor.

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6. Pok Pok Noi 1469 NE Prescott St, Portland, OR 97211

This is the tiny, counter-service sister of Pok Pok, chef Andy Ricker's famous Thai restaurant.

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7. Toro Bravo 120 NE Russell St, Portland, OR 97212

A perpetually packed spot in Eliot, this Spanish-inspired restaurant serves up small, shareable plates of succulent beef, pork, lam, and duck with vegetables made every which way to make their way around the table. With rustic red-brown walls and polished wood floors, the unpretentious vibe here makes you feel like you're in the home a good friends, unlike most upscale tapas restaurants.

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8. Kachka 720 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214

This Russian eatery is brought to you by the team behind Oven & Shaker. Lots of knickknacks litter the area while lace curtains allow just enough natural light in to not feel dark. The menu has plenty of hearty fare, and of course, vodka.

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9. Tasty 'N Sons 3808 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227

With "Tasty" in the name, you know it must be good. This local tapas spot is popular with the breakfast and brunch crowd, but they also have stellar dinner options and a great happy hour.

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10. Apizza Scholls 4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

This Hawthorne pizza shop is so focused on making you the perfect pie that if they run out of dough, they'll close early if they have to, to preserve the quality of their ingredients. Serving up quality pies rooted in Neapolitan tradition, Apizza goes heavy on the cheese, generous with the sauce, and hearty on the toppings.

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11. Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library 1124 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205

If you're a whiskey fan, Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library in Portland is worth a trip. One of the best whiskey bars in the country, it has more than 1,500 whiskeys stacked along a huge brick wall, and in true library fashion, they're accessible by a sliding ladder. Roaming bartenders serve drinks from bar carts, and they know more about whiskey than you ever will, so trust them. You can buy a membership to the semi-gentlemen's club to reserve a table ahead of time, otherwise you'll have to wait a few hours for a seat on peak nights with the rest of the non-members. You can always buy a one-time "Hall Pass" to skip the line though.

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12. Screen Door 2337 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Screen Door knows Southern cookin', modeling their menu off of such spots as South Carolina Lowcountry and Cajun flavors from New Orleans. What's more, their meals are made with local organic produce and meats to ensure you appreciate the food as much as they do.